when in doubt ~ Dan Cleveland
when in doubt ~ Dan Cleveland
when in doubt ~ Dan Cleveland
Although financially we have been prospering spiritually, many of us have suffered severe poverty of the soul and because of it in the pursuit of material happiness played a great part in the destruction of our planet. This may be the re-boot that we have needed to show each other acts of kindness. ~ Ron
Silver Lining by JRG
Spring of COVID-19
I hunker down
ease into new way of living
begin to see a silver lining
in all the inconvenience
people are kinder
family calls, checks in
cheer me up
with jokes, funny stories
air is cleaner outside
with less traffic on my road
less toxic fumes circulate
it is quieter
I can hear small birds
trilling in trees
hear bees buzz
about the crocuses
in full bloom
I look up at the sky
not a single contrail
mars the azure blue
at night, no jet’s red lights
outshine the stars
it’s as I remember it
as a child- a magical blanket
of twinkling tapers
life is lived at a gentler
no rushing here or there
with nowhere to go
no people to see
no scheduled events
or appointments to keep
there’s more time
to cook, clean, bake
organize, box things up
I no longer need or want
there’s more time now
to read, write
go for long walks in nature
meditate and pray
with pace more leisurely
my life is more sane
this is the silver lining
Is there a lesson to be learned
in all of this?
I have often heard the phrase, ‘this too shall pass.’ And it shall. The only thing is for sure is that we will all be changed when it is. How we are changed, that is up to us. In fact it is the only thing we have any control over.
There is a webinar if anyone is interested.
“Misfortunes do not flourish particularly in our path. They grow everywhere.” ~ Black Elk
Learning, Growing and Healing
Most mammalian species are born with only two things to be concerned. They both deal with survival. The first is their personal survival, staying warm enough, and ingesting the required amount of nutrients to stay alive. The second is procreation, to ensure the survival of the species. Once upon a time that is what occupied our days also. Somewhere along the line something changed for us. We became supposedly smarter. I’m sure for some, there is a longing for that simpler existence, but it definitely was a harder time.
There are many stories and myths that explain what happened. It is said that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and for doing so, were expelled from the garden. My only question is where did they go? There were no cities. In fact, back then I believe it was pretty much all garden. I’m sure not the modern concept of nicely tilled rows of vegetables and symmetric orchards was true, but I’m pretty positive it was mostly water or green space.
There is a story where the humans ate the ‘love apple,’ which was be forbidden, as it was poisonous and took a psychedelic trip, expanding their consciousness beyond that of the mind of the common ape. Then through this mental breakthrough at some point, they learned through a system of trial an error, how to harness fire, use tools, do things like learning to grow their own food, eventually inventing the wheel. Which lead us to our modern day cornucopia of creations, large and small that make our lives much more complicated then just eating and breeding.
Like all other life forms, it was still necessary to learn what was not instinctual, like eating and walking and coming in out of the rain. Like most animals, our parents taught us what to do. That is until at some period in history, they became too busy to teach their young. At that time, those allowed to ‘learn,’ were shuffled off to schools. Over time this system has grown into institutions for the creation of consumers, (see chapter 1 Things) where students are funneled into slots to fulfill the capitalistic promise. Once enrolled, children are divided into tracks based upon intelligence, aptitude, strength and coordination. During this education, it is determined what would be the placement which best benefited our great society and students are given guidance on how to achieve those goals. Those unwilling or unable to follow the path ascribed to them, due to extenuating circumstances, would be placed in minimum wage jobs, given government assistance if they are unable to perform such work, or remanded to jail if they were totally unwilling to cooperate. This path, if closely examined, sometimes leaves an empty feeling, like in the song when the singer bemoans, “Is that all there is?” The current inadequacy of this system, in many cases, fails to provide a meaningful life, leaving some grasping for a deeper sense of being. When that is not achieved within in the confines of “supposed normal routine,” it leads to substance abuse, depression or other forms of illness.
So under an attempt to live within the confines of ‘Natural Law’ what should we learn? Natural Law instructs us that the achievement of harmony and balance is the only requirement. This regimen is lacking from the curriculum of most of our bastions of education. It most often has to be learned through experience by the principle of cause and effect. Although I’ve been wandering this earth for 69 plus years, I learn every day, how out of sync I often am. And if it is a good day, I discover what it is I’m doing which makes me so and can somewhat correct it. One thing I have learned is that when I am closer to the balance point, when the give and take of the ‘flow’ is harmonious, the more my life seems to be. This is what I believe is meant by ‘Growing.’
TO FLOW IS TO GROW
TO GROW IS TO FLOW
Chapter 1: What is Natural Law?
“Natural law is the highest law, and it would be a folly to figure that you can outwit natural law.” ~ Winona La Duke
Natural law is the logical consequence for any and all actions. All great religions and philosophies embrace this tenant at least to a point. It’s as basic as if you hit your thumb with a hammer hard it is going to hurt. There are no exceptions unless you have a numb thumb. Natural law holds no exceptions.
I broke the cane I had been using the other day when I shut the car door upon it. It was a very interesting piece of wood with a hook on it. What made it even more special was I believe it belonged to one of my grandfathers. At first I thought it was maternal one, because my mother gave it to me and him being a man of the wild would have better access to such a piece. But I didn’t remember him ever using one. However in my distant past, I do remember my father’s father using one to leave the plumbing shop and walk across the backyard to is adjoining house.
I had recently had a health problem which made me facilitate it’s use in my everyday life and I had become attached to it. In the parking lot of Wegman’s, my partner, warned me to watch out for the car next to ours as I opened the door and startled slammed the door on the end of it. My first instinct was to blame her, which despite my years and supposed wisdom, often do blame others for my own lack of awareness. I pouted for a while.
Looking forward perhaps this was a sign that I would no longer need to have an aid to walk in the near future. Sometimes I have experienced difficulty in letting go of things that have acquired a special meaning in my life. But ‘things’ are made with the intention to serve us. If we use them for their purpose and use them well, if we wear them out, break them or lose them, it just means it is time to say good-bye to them, even the special ones. In the scheme of things, they are probably less important than the ants with which we are currently waging war with in the kitchen.
It’s tragic when we think of things owning us, but they tend to do so fairly regularly. I can think of many examples in my everyday life, even though I try not to put the word ‘my’ before any of them. The other day I was talking to my artist friend, Candy, about her art. She is a creative genius, so saying she has been creating for a long time and therefore has accumulated a great treasure trove of it. She said if she had a fire and lost it all, she was thinking she could probably move on. If she had to destroy it on purpose though it would be exceedingly difficult and probably couldn’t even think of doing such a thing.
The only things that are really ours is our body, mind and relationship with our surroundings and those are the ‘things’ we should embrace. Too often we’re lulled into the act of buying just for buying’s sake. We purchase many things we don’t need, that often end up collecting dust. Just more stuff we have to take care of or get rid of later on. Whenever we attach the word mine on to something, it owns us instead of the other way around.
I was concerned about the act of creating this, technically my blog, which would make me the servant, one more thing to do. My only hope is that by doing so, I can begin a dialog, which eventually will resolve in an understanding of the way the universe functions and how we can better exist within the confines of natural law.
WE DO NOT OWN ‘THINGS,’ THEY OWN US.
The woodpecker knocks
“Come in,” I jest
“Eventually,” it replies
Bills pile up!
The need to make and spend more, me
I can’t afford not to have fun
We were brought to a land of immeasurable beauty
But chose only to see
A murder of crows arrive
Expounding the virtue of ‘natural law’
Looking at the clouds, I cry
“There is no sun!”
Unaware of what lies above
Upon the day bed, I read the ancient, sacred texts to inspire me.
The cat jumps up to join me, as I read about communing with the Angel of Life.
As I stroke his fur, I commune with the only other heartbeat in the room.
For a moment we share this connection, me sharing my love through thought and touch,
The creature through the acceptance of my gift and the returning to me, joy.
Looking out the window, I watch the birds dance in the sky, occasionally touching the earth.
Clouds silently move across the sky.
“Seek not the law in the scriptures,” the book says.
“In everything that Is life is the law written.”
In 1987, we moved to the town of Niles to a small stretch of road which for a time became affectionately known as ‘Carrot Junction.’ It was made up of three houses on Grange Hall Road; our house, the home of the Age family and the Wakely’s, where the Niles Gourmet Bistro is today. It achieved its nickname due to the fact we were all vegetarians and organic farmers. There became a tradition of Saturday night pot luck dinners at the Wakely’s. Both Dale Wakely and Dan Age were ministers at that time, Dale Congregationalist, Dan Baptist. Often there was a diverse group of house guests that included 7th Day Adventists, TM teachers, psychenauts and NewAge philosophers from Dan’s health food store, the Greene family and us. After dinner, while the women talked in the kitchen, the conversation among the men usually centered on environmental spirituality.
One afternoon, I was walking with Dan Age, when he was discussing a premise raised at the pot luck. It was in regards to the symbolism of the cross. He pointed out that it was much more than the crucifixion. He believed it went back to the translation of Genesis. It was his belief that man was not put on earth to have dominion over the planet and its resources but to be the stewards. That humankind had been placed as a pole connecting the Heavenly Father and the Earthly Mother. The Father being in charge of all that is of the spirit and the Mother all things of substance. That we, as the stewards were the arms of the cross, connecting to all the creatures, the plants, the earth and stones, the water and the air. This is why we were put here to teach the natural law, and build the kingdom on earth by taking care of all around us to provide for generations to come. Somewhere this has been lost and is not the role we have taken on.
Unfortunately in this day and age we have separated ourselves from the environment. Chief Irving Powless Jr. states in his book, “Who Are These People Anyway,” the difference between those that came after and the Indigenous people, is that we have separated ourselves from the environment, whereas the Native American can only think one way and that is they are the environment and act accordingly. Perhaps we need to once more start thinking of ourselves as a part of the whole. Realize the bottom line should not be profit, but health and happiness. It may well be a matter of survival for us as a species.
So let us start here with prayers of gratitude for the water.